1. #1
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    Thumbs down FD taken off most MVA's - ur thoughts?

    Town in NJ, ems/rescue department, took FD off alerting procedures for MVA's unless confirmed entrapment, overturned or fluids leaking awhile back. The Squad has jurisdiction on MVAs. They cover a good stretch of route 78. Below are some of the responses i got from the assistant chief for proposed highway response sogs. I researched alot on highway safety through respondersafety.com. In short, they included a single engine for response to mva's that didn't meet the above criteria to assist in traffic control, buffer zone, lifting, and possibly a line if extrication was found and then for the above criteria, either a ladder or pumper/tanker for traffic and 2 engines. All of these obviously included bls/als when needed/and the rescue.

    Here are some of the responses I recieved:

    "I think you make more of a target for careless drivers to slam into a fire truck whose sole purpose is a LARGE TRAFFIC CONE, at the rate of speed the vehicles move on r78, nothing is gonna prevent a vehicle from plowing into us! It just exaserbates the situation and now you have a 25 ton fire truck crashing into to as well as the careless vehicles on our highways. I believe the SP usually control the traffic with flares and cones hundreds of yards away and usually shut down the slow lane."

    "As far as FD response to minor MVA's for no other reason then as a TRAFFIC CONE is ludacris."

    "The impact of uneccessary FD personnel responding puts more people at risk then just limiting a BLS response. You now have 10 more personnel vehicles responding to the incident SPEEDING to the scene, FD Station, etc."

    imho as for safety, our's comes first, if we were injured we can't help anyone else. Not calling the FD because we're worried about their response to the building or scene is not in the best interest of our safety. Get them enroute and if they're not needed, send them home. Now, there is an issue with the departments not following sops but it seems that the officers of this org have just about given up trying to change that.

    This is also a department (or chief for that matter), that feels it necessary to blind every driver on the road with an insane number of leds/strobes when on scene. Apparently they know better than all the experts that have researched these topics.

    I'm open for comments/suggestions, I'm always willing to learn.

  2. #2
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    I'm open for comments/suggestions
    Ok. 95% of the MVA's in my town, there is no FD response. We don't provide BLS/ALS or extrication, however, if there is extrication, we are called to provide a line. If there is fluid leak, we are called to handle that. Do I think we should be called to every MVA that BLS responds to? No way. Not in my area.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I believe in erring on the side of response times. Dispatch fire, police and EMS at once. If any or all are not needed, then call them off. Finding out that you need them AFTER you get there is too late.
    The motoring public don't want any of us there, because they would have to slow down to a safe speed and we all know that they haven't got time for that.
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    Unless we are really tied-up, an engine with extrication equipment responds on all MVA's. Since the ambulance is a FIRE DEPARTMENT ambulance, we have none of the silly ****ing matches that seem to arise when too many cooks are in the kitchen.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    His reasons are total BS, that's for sure. On a highway with cars cruising along at 70+, not having a 25 ton truck there for protection is asking for death and destruction. A Dodge Neon is not going ot push a 25 ton truck several hundred feet into the scene.

    On regular surface streets, it is not needed unless there is a situation calling for it (extrication, fluids, fire, etc). The police handle non-injury accidents on their own all day long.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Like Mikey, EMS is part of the FD so if the bus goes the rescue and engine goes too. If I'm working the scene, I want the big red traffic cone.

    We DO NOT go to all MVAs. We're dispatched to confirmed injuries or accidents where the caller is unsure. Otherwise, we don't respond unless specifically requested by the PD to assist with cleanup and/or traffic. If that happens, we respond cold because there's no reason to get in a hurry.

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    An engine goes to all medical runs here. I guess the truck and rescue could go too if it was a last resort thing.

    No matter what they are getting a BRT at the scene.
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  8. #8
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    Default Ugh...

    In my opinion and I am sorry if I come off strong-

    In my first fire science class, the instructor once told
    me- "The fire department is the #1 leader when it comes to
    emergency management."

    I believed him in 1989 and I believe him now. The FD should
    be on the initial dispatch for all reported traffic collisons
    (aka T/Cs). The FD should be in charge of all fire and EMS
    vehicles.

    This happened in Mesquite, Nevada. One day the City Manager
    said "Enough!" Fire and rescue are now combined and thats it.
    Done deal. The Fire Chief and Ambulance Chief were both so
    angry that they up and quit. Good, now the operation runs
    smooth.

    Keep the FD on the traffic collisons responses.

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    Not really sure which way to go on this as I have been to so many MVAs where the fire department was dispatched automatically and not needed once they arrive. Looking at it from a firefighter safety standpoint, one could argue that unless you have a fairly high rate of injuries/extracations the risk of the engine and POVs (in a vollie/combo situation) being envolved in an accident while responding outweighs the need for a rapid response time in those few situations you are actually needed. The other question is do you really want to tie up an engine or heavy simply to act as a traffic cone for EMS and LE, especially if you have limited resources ?

    Guess I'll go with keep the FD in quarters, especially if vollie, until they are actually needed. But, not knowing the local situation ... guess that opinion ain't worth very much ...

    Just my thoughts.

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    We run reported injuries, all extrications, and they automatically send us to all 'cars over a hill' or 'rollovers', simply due to the increased likelihood of entrapment or injuries.

    If PD beats us there and informs us we're not needed, we shut the lights off and head home. If they need us, we're there to provide additional trained medical personnel, any landing zones required, and to minimize hazards.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

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    We respond to all EMS/MVA/etc. runs. Emergency traffic or non-emergency. If we start out emergency and are cut back to routine traffic by EMS.. it is the officers choice whether we continue in or not. I can't tell you how many times we've been dispatched to an MVA/pin-in and it has ended up being complete BS.. then on the other hand, I also can't tell you how many time I've run an MVA that ended up being a pretty good pin job. I'd say it's better to be safe than sorry, put a fire apparatus on all EMS/MVA/non-fire calls. If you don't need them.. no harm done, but if you need them NOW and they are still at the station.. well that could be a bad thing. That's just what I've experienced.

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    If you don't need them.. no harm done,
    Speaking from the non-EMS fd side and volunteer, it will cause harm. Adding another 300 calls to my avg 250 per year will make a large difference in members being able to turnout when they are needed. Guys still have to work, if they are leaving work that many more times (when they are not needed) the business owners may stop allowing that. There is a line with "pushing too far". Yes, err on the side of caution, but err on the side of caution within reason. In my area, FD on every MVA is not within reason.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    When I say "every MVA", I am talking PI accidents and of course non-injury fuel spills /hazardous conditions. The engine gets returned as soon as it is determined they are not needed. I would think in rural America, the F.D would play an even more important role at crashes. Scene lighting, manpower etc. Sorry Bones, but the argument that it would cause "too many" calls is a bit weak. Why dosent the Fire Department do extrication? If your town runs 300 PI accidents, then there is a serious driving problem in your neighborhood.
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    If your vollie department gets calls that members can't "turnout" for.. then it might be time to consider getting a part-time paid person or two to run calls during the day, when the vollies are at work. That's just my opinion.. I know things are run differently with vollie departments that only run.. maybe 1 call a day. I'm talking about career departments, or other paid/part-time departments that have the personnel to run the calls. Heck, if it is a strain to run EMS/MVA calls.. then do ya'll only run Fire? Well, that'd probably make sense.. especially if you won't beat EMS to the scene.

  15. #15
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    I think I wouldn't care, except that I would tell my friends and families to make sure when they call in their own crash, to make sure they say, "I think extrication will be needed."

    It's kinda like the BLS neighbors we have. We've told them repeatedly, feel free to call us anytime for an ALS intercept; yet they routinely call a private from 15 miles away. Do I care? No, I do not. That is their privelige. While I'd like to have the call volume and get our rural medics some more run time, it's not worth getting bunched up in my panties over it. Same applies here. You want us, call us. Otherwise, whatever. Don't come crying to me when your people get mashed up when some dumb*****ed drunk plows into your "minor PI" crash scene some late afternoon, wishing like hell you'd had that 40 ton traffic cone.
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    A little background: EMS and Fire/Extrication are different agencies. EMS used to do both patient care and extrication however in these days of reduced staffing they have to focus strictly on patient care and we took over rescue/extrication a several years ago.

    Our dispatch protocal is that the FD is sent to any accident that meets ALS criteria(rollover, head on, obviously confirmed pin, caller says its "bad" and so on) We remain in quarters for all of the 'minor mva, party to be checked out' etc.

    That being said, it seems to run in cycles and with the majority of our incidents on Interstate Highway I think it coincides with personnel rotations within our State Police. We will go several months of going to every petty incident that there aren't even injuries at let alone entrapment or fluids but then you will go several months of driving on the highway and saying 'oh look another chunk out of the guardrail that wasn't there yesterday' or hearing EMS going and we don't so I guess it all evens out.

    I believe the SP usually control the traffic with flares and cones hundreds of yards away and usually shut down the slow lane."
    Have to say that's pretty rare by me and if they do actually give you a lane other than the one the accident is in, they are constantly in commands ear, "can we open the lanes, can we open the lanes"

    The worst part is that they(State Police) have jurisdiction over MVAs on the interstate so they could technically send us packing. It has never come to that, but there have been ****ing matches.

    My personal opinion is if you want to call us, go ahead we will come out and do our job. If you don't, I'll stay in my warm bed or my air conditioning and read about it in the newspaper tomorrow.

    Bottomline is if you are called, do your job professionally and remember.... everyone goes home!

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    Mikey, extrication is handled by my EMS agency, been that way for past 20 years. Might change in the next few, but for now, it's theirs. They will roll 4 EMTS on an ambulance and another 4-6 on their "rescue" truck for the extrication and any scene lighting needs. They respond now to about 300 MVA's in their coverage area where no FD is requested. I'd say better than 95% of them are people who first called their lawyers, then called for help.

    FTMPTB15, that would be correct, we do not provide BLS. Separate agency in town handles BLS along with Dive Team and extrication.


    Gentlemen, please note, on better than 3/4 of the MVA's that EMS rolls on, they are cancelled and/or any treatment is refused. It plays heavily on their resources also as during our summer season, 3 or 4 calls at 1 time is fairly common. Having to respond to MVA's needlessly can take away care from others. Currently, FD responds to about 250 calls per year, EMS responds to over 1500. I do not have any numbers on how many MVA's the PD respond to that no FD or EMS is called at all, but I know they happen.

    I also know that if/when the FD takes over extrication, our call volume will be increased and we will have to account and plan for that.
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    Well considering ya'll don't provide any BLS.. it would make sense to only roll the FD on MVA/pin-in/major trauma/etc.

    Just to clarify one thing.. we roll on most ALL MVA's that EMS rolls on.. there is the occassional one that is PD response only, in which they get on scene and request EMS non-emergency to check out the patients. Those we don't go on. Basically, if someone calls into dispatch and says everyone is out of the cars and it is only property damage... then PD is the only people that respond... and they'll usually go non-emergency.

  19. #19
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    In my city, the fire department provides BLS first-response service as well as extrication. BLS/ALS transport is handled by a third-party, regional ambulance authority. So, if the ambulance rolls... so does the fire department. This should include all accidents except those where the caller is confirming no injuries.

    Our only problem is that we're dispatched by the police department. 97% of the time, everything works out fine. But just this month, we had an injury accident that was reported as an accident with unknown injuries. We were not dispatched because PD wanted to send a patrol unit first to see if there were injuries.

  20. #20
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    Bones,
    I think it's great that your firefighters are allowed to leave work for calls. And you're correct, leaving work for a call should be done within reason. But then again, I think that should be up to the individual firefighter/employee. Do they drop everything for every pull station at the elementary school caffeteria, for example? It's the same concept.

    I wish local businessed would let our firefighters answer calls in the daytime. Our township recently passed an ordinance stating all volunteers who work for the township must be allowed to respond to fire calls while working. We got a kick out of it when our paid chief posted the memo for our paid firefighters....
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

  21. #21
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    For what its worth....I think if your county has a 1st responder program (as ours does, engine goes to medical calls) then one would think you would have to go to mvas.

  22. #22
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    My department is a combination, and we run our own ALS service here. FD goes to all MVA, and med calls to assist. I am going to go with CR on this one, it is easier to send them home if you don't need em' than to have to wait God only knows how long for them to get there later. Remember the "Golden hour"??
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  23. #23
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    Talking Well.........................

    A little background: We run EVERYTHING because EVERYTHING is our job. Period. We are the "Fire" Department only because we haven't come up with a better name. We are actually the EVERYTHING Department. You call, we haul. EMS? Yes, both ALS and BLS Transport units. Rescue? the whole ball of wax there. Fire? Well, once in a while. Other Stuff? Yup, Flooded Basements, People who fell, (Elderly alone at home) Tree blew down across the road, All sorts of stuff. We do EVERYTHING for one reason. We WANT to. Think about this: When all of your eggs are in one basket, you take care of the basket. So, we want to be the basket. I mean no disrespect, but places that have Fire over here, EMS over there, other services down there, have a much harder time getting things done. Back to the point: Yes, we run MVAs, (Motor Vehicle Accidents) and when we get to the MVA, we run the show, not the Cops. The cops get their street back when we are done with our work, and not before. And, Yes, we shut down the road. You DO NOT drive thru our operations, you wait, or find another way around. And that is the Law in Maryland.
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    Fire and EMS are completely separate here. Both are volunteer.(I think the EMS agencies have paid daytime, not sure) We get called only for fluid in the roadway and when the extrication tools are needed. We run over 1000 fire calls a year, if we got called to every MVA EMS gets called to, we would burn people out even faster than we do now. I see the need to block the road, but hopefully they do it with the police cars and ambulances. I don't want to get called out of bed to be a huge traffic cone.
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    we do about 650 calls and we go on all MVA's we also provide ALS through two transport units, one engine and one quint.
    The running order for an MVA is
    Medic Unit
    Rescue Engine
    ALS Engine
    Safety Officer/Spare Medic Unit depending on the situation.
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